Interesting comments by AJ. Those have been the rumors for a few years now
Nets fire Scott despite 2 trips to NBA Finals
Former Pacers coaching candidate let go with team in 1st place in Atlantic Division.
Winning isn't everything
A look at the records of Rick Carlisle (Detroit), Isiah Thomas (Indiana) and Byron Scott (New Jersey) when they were fired.
Coach Season Record
Carlisle 2001-03 100-64
Thomas 2000-03 131-115
Scott 2000-04 149-139
By Mark Montieth
January 27, 2004
The circle is now complete for the candidates for the Indiana Pacers' head coaching position four years ago.
Rick Carlisle, Isiah Thomas and Byron Scott, all of whom interviewed for the opportunity to replace Larry Bird after the Pacers reached the NBA Finals in 2000, have been fired despite compiling winning records.
Scott joined the unlikely club Monday when he was released by New Jersey despite coaching the Nets to the Finals the past two seasons.
Thomas was hired by the Pacers in 2000 and guided a young team through a rebuilding phase with a 131-115 record. He was fired in August and is now president of the New York Knicks.
Carlisle sat out of coaching one year, then led the Pistons to two 50-win seasons and won a Coach of the Year award. He was released in May, but replaced Thomas in September.
Now Scott is unemployed after going 149-139 despite taking over a non-contending team in 2000. The Nets, 22-20, had been erratic this season but still led the weak Atlantic Division.
"We all go into these jobs knowing it's high stakes and high pressure," Carlisle said. "I think Byron's done a great job. He went into the last year of his contract without an extension with great integrity and great dignity.
"He's one of these guys who's going to get a great job right away if he wants one."
Pacers guard Reggie Miller, a close friend of Scott's and a teammate during Scott's two seasons with the Pacers (1993-95), was puzzled by the move.
"I guess getting to the Finals twice in a row isn't good enough," he said. "There had to be some other factor there."
[size=18:f156fb2fa6]Anthony Johnson agrees, and knows of those factors. Johnson played for the Nets the past two seasons and saw firsthand the issues that cost Scott his job.
Scott, according to Johnson, let his assistants do much of the work and suffered a major loss when Eddie Jordan became the head coach at Washington, taking Mike O'Koren with him.
"I didn't think he would make it out of the year," Johnson said. "Not necessarily because of their record. But with Eddie Jordan and Mike O'Koren not there, that was pretty much the brain trust of that team.
"We had tough times last year after the All-Star break and in the Finals and they've had tough times during the season. When you're going through tough times you have to look at yourself in the mirror and say, 'Am I doing all I can to help this team?' I think that question would rear its head a lot concerning Byron Scott."[/size]Nets team president Rod Thorn said at a news conference Monday he thought about firing Scott for more than a month.
"It happens to almost every coach eventually: Your message isn't well received and taken onto the court," Thorn said. "I felt it would turn itself around, and for a while it did. But it became evident to me that it wasn't going to turn around. We have not played to the level we anticipated playing."
The Nets will finish the season with an interim coach, Lawrence Frank, but the Pacers expect them to remain a factor in the Eastern Conference playoff chase as long as Jason Kidd is playing point guard.
"With J. Kidd, they're always in it," Al Harrington said. "This might be a rallying call for them. They've got the same core guys that went to the Finals the last two years. They know how to win."